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September 16, 2009

Should Canada create a Firearms Taskforce?

CANADA - The Canadian-American border isn't very secure and every year thousands of handguns are snuck into Canada, traded for marijuana and then the smugglers take the drugs back to the United States to be sold for a sizable profit.

On the American side of the border they have the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) tracking the smugglers and trying to catch them in the act.

But on the Canadian side of the border the RCMP are spread too thin and don't have enough manpower to truly crackdown on gun/pot smugglers.

I think Canada should make an Firearms Enforcement Agency (or Firearms Taskforce) that specifically targets the smuggling and sale of guns across the Canadian border. Cut back on all the handguns sneaking into Canada and we will see a lot less school shootings and gun crime.

It is not that the RCMP isn't concerned about gun trafficking, its simply a problem that they are short staffed and don't have enough officers to be doing a proper job of it.

In theory they should be operating sting operations and have undercover officers to buy handguns (ie. pretending to be trading marijuana for guns). Less illegal handguns on the streets, more people who can sleep safely at night.

The FEA should also be offering rewards for information leading to the arrest of gun smugglers. People aren't always willing to risk their necks to do a good deed when there is nothing in it for them. On the other hand people short on cash and desperate might be more likely to tell on their buddy the gun smuggler... they get the cash, stay out of trouble and the police get to make an arrest that will take dangerous guns and drugs off the street.

The proposed Firearms Enforcement Agency could also administer testing to make sure people who own guns legally aren't insane, review their criminal records to make sure dangerous ex-cons aren't purchasing firearms, etc.

The FEA would also be in charge of the national firearms registry, coordinate with federal, provincial and local police, share notes with the FBI and DEA in the United States, and unlike the RCMP the FEA would be able to hire more average people to help in their investigations (the RCMP has really high physical standards for becoming an officer).

The problem is that Canada's current government, Stephen Harper's minority Conservatives, claims to be tough on violent crime, but is soft on handguns. They haven't clued in that the two are connected. Gun crime is also connected to poverty, which during the current recession has seen a dramatic rise.

If the Conservatives were to create a Canadian Firearms Taskforce they might be able to prove they are really tough on crime. But will they? I doubt it. They get quite a few endorsements from the pro-gun lobby.

On the upside a firearms taskforce would create hundreds of new jobs in Canada. Which is something we need anyway during the recession and over the long term will be well worth it.

See Also:
Gun Control in Canada
Handguns in Canada
Poverty in Canada
Creating Jobs in Canada

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